Make Do and Mend, part 2

I really, really love to knit. I knit almost every day, simply because it’s fun, but also because I like to create someting that I can use. Material is also important of course, I mean, there wouldn’t be much knitting without yarn. I have a lot of yarn. Not as much as some of my friends, but still enough to keep me knitting for at least a couple of years without buying new yarn.

I still do, though. Buy new yarn. It’s hard not to when you come across a lovely wooly, soft hank. But I don’t buy as much yarn as I did a few yars ago. I’ve become more picky. More concerened about quality.

I also have quite a few unfinshed knits. I’ve realized that I will never finish some of them. Some were not that fun to knit. Or I might no longer want the garment.

Well, the best thing to do when you have a UFO that you will never finish is simply to rip it out! Wind the yarn into hanks, wash them gently in tepid water in the sink, hang them up to dry and voilá, new yarn! Without going to the shops.

återbruk
Recycled

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Make Do and Mend, part 1

When I was little I loved watching old news reel footage on the TV (they were edited into programs, often with a theme), especially the ones from the early forties which were sometimes about how to care for one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. This was of course during World War II, and even though Sweden wasn’t actually in the war, rationing was severe and buying new things was often not possible.

My interest in how to get by in times of austerity has increased over the years. Most people in the western world live in relative luxuary today, and we do not need to be moderate in our consumer habits, but at the same time most of us are aware of that this is not a sustainable way of life.

Sustainability and quality is someting we all need to consider and how we can contribute to a more sustainable world.

One way is of course by consuming less. Taking care of one’s things and clothes in order for them to last longer. Mending what can be mended. Questioning whether you actually need that thing that you want.

I try to think about these things and I want to contribute to a more sustainable society to the best of my ability. It’s not easy, of course. One way is by mending what you already have.

I have a pair of woolen gloves I knitted in 2007. I have mended these several times before, but last week they neeeded some TLC again.

worn
Stitches worn thin

I reinforced the stitches:

mending 2
Mended finger

I reinforced some other stitches that weren’t as badly off to prevent them from getting worse.

mending 1
Preventing new holes

They looked much worse a few years ago:

hole!
Almost worn out

The tips of the fingers were so badly worn, I simply cut them off:

unravelled yarn
Unravelled yarn and cut off fingertips

And then knit new ones:

new finger on mitten
Knitting new fingertips

Result:

mended mitten and cat
Almost brand new!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on making do and mending. Do you mend your knits? If not, why?

Brenda, who produces my favourite knitting pod cast, Cast On, dedicated a whole series to the Make Do and Mend concept back in 2009. I recommend that you check out her audio archive and download series 8 if you haven’t listened to it already.

Happy knitting!

First podcast on knitting in Swedish. And some knit spotting.

The first Swedish podcast on knitting has seen the light of day! And I’m using the word first because I believe that more of them will surface. It’s called Stickpodden and is produced by two young women, Karin and Elin, who met each other at a knitting club a couple of years ago and decided to start a podcast.

Stickpodden is an easygoing and chatty podcast and in their first episode Karin and Elin talk about Ravelry, knitting during meetings and if and how much one should charge when knitting for others. They already have another episode out, but I’ve only listened to the first one yet. I like it so far and look forward to more episodes. An extra bonus is their choice of music, a bit different and really good.

Now over to some knit spotting. I had a late afternoon meeting down town and happened by an H&M. I’m normally not a patron of H&M for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t produce nice items from time to time. Two very nice looking male sweaters caught my eye as I walked past:

Knit spotting II
A very nice cabled sweater

Knit spotting I
And an intricate Fair Isle inspired sweater

I did not go inside to scrutinize the garments so I do not know their fibre content. One can only hope that they are knit from wool.

That is all.

My second 10K race

Today was another great day outdoors. It was time for a 10K race at the outskirts of Stockholm, Hässelbyloppet. This was my second 10K race and I managed to improve my time by eight minutes from last year! I’m very pleased with my result, but will work at improving my time even further.

jag och sofie
My best friend Sofie and me before the race

I can’t be certain of course, but I don’t think that there were many runners there today who wore hand knit hats and hand knit gloves. In wool. But I did. Fair Isle gloves none the less!

Happy knitting! And running.

Grey cowl. And a new coat.

Today has been a beautiful autumn day. Stefan I and walked over to Norra begravningsplatsen (The Northern Cemetary) which is one of the largest cemetaries in and around Stockholm. It opened in 1827 and about 30 000 people are buried there. My paternal grandparents are buried there along with some of my other relatives. It’s a very beautiful and quiet place. I love going there, especially in the autumn, to experience the atmosphere and to reflect upon memories of loved ones.

I took the opportunity to take pictures of my most recent FO in this beautiful spot.

Grey cowl
Cable knit cowl

Pattern: 123-14 Neck warmer with cables and textured pattern from Drops Design 123
Design: Garnstudio Drops Design
Yarn: 100 % Romney Cross Wool from Edge of Yonder Farms
Yarn source: Saratoga Needle Arts, Saratoga Springs, NY
Needles: 4 mm and 4,5 mm circular needles
Started: 1 October 2012
Finished: 7 October 2012
Modifications: I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn, so I made the ribbing at the bottom a shorter.

Finished cowl and new coat
A very loose cowl and a new coat

I think I blocked it a little too heavily, it’s very loose now. I’ll probably wash it again and just let it dry flat without pinning it.

Tossing leaves is not as easy as it may seem
Tossing leaves is not as easy as it may seem

New coat <em></em>and cowl
Autumn at the cemetary

I’m completely in love with my new coat from nygårdsanna! I’m ready for winter. And. It’s made from Harris Tweed.

Harris Tweed coat
Harris Tweed coat from nygårdsanna

Many trees still have a lot of green leaves, which means that I can look forward to at least another month of autumn before winter arrives. I love winter, too, but autumn has always been my favourite season. The mood, the colours and the earthy smells.

Happy knitting!

I’ve started a little something

Autumn really is here now and it’s getting colder every day. I haven’t seen any frost yet, but I don’t think it will be long now. Here’s another little project to keep me warm.

wooly warmers
Simple wrist warmers

I’m not using a pattern for this project, it’s all improvisation. I’m using 100% wool yarn from Kampes that I bought at Marias garn back in 2006. I have almost an entire skein left from the original project, perhaps you remember these?

Happy knitting!

This was a quick knit. For a change.

I often feel like my knitting projects have no end. The red cardigan I started in FEBRUARY still isn’t finished (believe me, I have UFO’s much older than that, but none other that I’m actually working on now). Back and both fronts are done and I’ve begun the first sleeve, but I really believed I would be finished by now.

That’s why it’s so gratifying to actually finish something. I really wanted someting warm and cosy to celebrate the arrival of autumn and decided to use some left over yarn from my Hampton cardigan. The whole thing took one week. Now see, that’s nice. I finished something within a week!

Blocking
Blocking my grey woolen cowl

It’s blocking now and is still quite damp, so you’ll have to wait a few days for a shot of me actually wearing it.

Happy knitting!